In a nutshell: We can defrost frozen food by using a refrigerator, under running tap water, and a microwave oven. However, food should never be defrosted at room temperature or in hot water. Foods that are not defrosted in the refrigerator should be cooked and eaten immediately after defrosting.
- Defrosting by moving from the freezer to the fridge:
- Plan ahead what food to be cooked the next day to allow time for defrosting, usually overnight.
- Food should be wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent contamination.
- Place non-ready-to-eat food below ready-to-eat food.
- Defrosted food should be placed in the refrigerator at all times until it is used or consumed.
- Defrosting under running tap water
- Food should be put in a sealed container before defrosting under tap water.
- Avoid defrosting ready-to-eat food under tap water to prevent cross-contamination.
- The kitchen sink should be cleaned thoroughly before and after being used for defrosting to prevent contaminating other food.
- Keep the tap water running to facilitate faster defrosting.
- Defrosting in a microwave oven:
- Food should be put in a container or properly wrapped before defrosting in a microwave oven.
- Food should be taken out for stirring or turning over to facilitate adequate and even defrosting.
Remember: Food should never be defrosted at room temperature or in hot water, as this exposes food to temperature danger zone for extended periods of time, thus allowing bacteria to grow. Unless defrosted in the refrigerator, refrigerated food should be cooked immediately after defrosting, as higher temperatures encourage bacterial growth in food.